The Good Luck of Right Now

HarperCollins (February 2014)

Call it fate. Call it synchronicity. Call it an act of God. Call it… The Good Luck of Right Now. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook comes an entertaining and inspiring tale that will leave you pondering the rhythms of the universe and marveling at the power of kindness and love.

For thirty-eight years, Bartholomew Neil has lived with his mother. When she gets sick and dies, he has no idea how to be on his own. His redheaded grief counselor, Wendy, says he needs to find his flock and leave the nest. But how does a man whose whole life has been grounded in his mom, Saturday mass, and the library learn how to fly?

Bartholomew thinks he’s found a clue when he discovers a “Free Tibet” letter from Richard Gere hidden in his mother’s underwear drawer. In her final days, mom called him Richard—there must be a cosmic connection. Believing that the actor is meant to help him, Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life, writing Richard Gere a series of highly intimate letters. Jung and the Dalai Lama, philosophy and faith, alien abduction and cat telepathy, the Catholic Church and the mystery of women are all explored in his soul-baring epistles. But mostly the letters reveal one man’s heartbreakingly earnest attempt to assemble a family of his own.

A struggling priest, a “Girlbrarian,” her feline-loving, foul-mouthed brother, and the spirit of Richard Gere join the quest to help Bartholomew. In a rented Ford Focus, they travel to Canada to see the cat Parliament and find his biological father . . . and discover so much more.


“… big-hearted characters … Good Luck will satisfy … [a] gratifying romp …” —⁠People

“I read The Good Luck of Right Now in one sitting … original, compelling, uplifting … celebrates the power of ordinary, flawed human beings to rescue themselves and each other … shot through with wit and humanity.” —⁠Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project

“… easy to read but difficult to characterize. Part fairy tale and part vision quest … Bartholomew Neil is something of a cross between Forrest Gump and Ignatius J. Reilly … Quick, a master scene-setter, details Neil’s personal tragedy in prose that is simultaneously funny and devastating … a page-turner.” —⁠The Boston Globe

“… another offbeat gem populated with eccentric, fallible, intensely human characters … expect high demand for this spiritually fueled midlife coming-of-age novel.” —⁠Booklist

“… channels the same screwball sad sweetness we loved so much in Silver Linings.” —⁠GQ

“heart-warming, funny, thoughtful and original…an unlikely hero for whom readers will love to cheer … Like [John] Irving, Quick has a talent for making obscure events seem possible … a wonderful read from a promising author.” —⁠Winnipeg Free Press

“It’s impossible not to love each of these deeply flawed characters … As funny as it is touching, Quick’s latest effort is on par with Silver Linings.” —⁠USA Today

“Quick … has a rare skill in portraying characters with mental illness, which, when coupled with his deft hand at humor, produces compelling and important prose.” —⁠Library Journal

“Matthew Quick’s The Good Luck of Right Now has everything I relish in a story: a flawed but sympathetic protagonist, a page-turning plot, and a cast of emotionally scarred characters for whom I rooted wholeheartedly. I loved this novel from its quirky and unconventional opening to its poignant, tear-inducing conclusion.” —⁠Wally Lamb, #1 New York Times bestselling author of She’s Come Undone and We Are Water

“Quick’s depictions of relationships are so real and, ultimately, hopeful and inspiring that I hope everyone will thank their lucky stars for a book like this one.” —⁠Pennie’s Picks (Costco)

“Quirky, feel-good fiction … A whimsical, clever narrative.” —⁠Kirkus *STARRED REVIEW*

“… spot-on observations about faith, power, and propriety … a charming epistolary novel …” —⁠Shambhala Sun

“Funny, touching, wise, and ultimately life-affirming, The Good Luck of Right Now is quite possibly the greatest feel-good misfit-road story I’ve had the good luck to read. If you loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, this book is for you.” —⁠Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

“Quick writes with an engaging intimacy, capturing his narrator’s innocence and off-kilter philosophy, and the damaged souls in orbit around him.” —⁠Publishers Weekly

“… a knockout of a book that has something for everyone: humor, wisdom, plot twists, wholly original characters and Richard Gere.” —⁠BookPage

“… brilliant … Herein lies Quick’s talent—in his ability to make the seemingly outlandish utterly relatable. Who hasn’t had these moments of existential crises whereby the same self-reflection that can be so terrifying is, at the same time, addictively fascinating.” —⁠Bustle

“Quick returns to his offbeat, optimistic view of the world as only he can … an endearing celebration of the human spirit.” —⁠Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“A rollicking tale of the joys in the challenges of daily life … It’s fun, it’s feel good, and it touches on the profound.” —⁠Toronto Star

“… winningly madcap …” —⁠Entertainment Weekly

“Bartholomew’s notes to Gere are, of course, a satire of a society fixated on celebrities. But the letters also serve as a kind of Trojan horse that allows Quick to consider that most elemental of questions: How do we choose what we believe in?” —⁠Minneapolis StarTribune

“Quick ventures to the edges of society, challenging his readers to accept personalities we forgot about or didn’t know existed. He rewards us with an irresistible urge to think the best of humanity, to understand not only the need to walk in someone else’s shoes but also the altruistic power attained from doing so. He takes us out of our comfort zones.” —⁠Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Funny and sad, with moving, unsentimental prose and a quick, satisfying pace. Highly recommended.” —⁠Michael Colford, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA – for LibraryReads

“… a deeply nuanced portrait of an unconventional family unit, friendships of necessity, and life’s give and take.” —⁠Nylon

“… genuine. This was a very enjoyable read for me, so much so that I delayed reading the final chapters not wanting it to end.” —⁠Burlington Times News

“Grade: A. Picking up a Matthew Quick novel is a lot like going to your favorite restaurant. You just know it is going to be good.” —⁠Boston Herald

“… entertaining and deeply heartfelt. Quick writes Bartholomew so well, he is an impossible character to forget.” —⁠Spencer Daily Reporter

“… a bit similar to riding a rollercoaster blindfolded. The reader has no idea what will be revealed on the next page … Matthew Quick … has a vivid imagination, a knack for creating believable characters, and the ability to keep the reader engaged in the story.” —⁠BookReporter

“… A Confederacy of Dunces removed 1,200 miles northeast. As with that novel, it’s impossible to come away unamused by The Good Luck of Right Now’s kindhearted presentation of the misadventures of a damaged soul.” —⁠The Philadelphia Inquirer

“… funny, with humor that arises naturally from Bartholomew’s deadpan, literal view of the world.” —⁠The Columbus Dispatch

“… The Good Luck of Right Now will move you. It will make you think about the people on the edges of society not with sadness or pity but with a respect for what they can overcome and the kindness that exists in the world.” —⁠Cavalier House Books

“This is a story that will leave you spellbound by the capabilities of the human spirit, a must-read!” —⁠Macs London

“Fun fiction.” —⁠Tampa Bay Times

“… a tender tale that manages to be both light-hearted and philosophical.” —⁠Financial Times (UK)

“A delight from beginning to end …” —⁠Nashville Scene

“… an excellent read … If you’ve ever felt different, or that you didn’t fit in, this is the book for you…You’ll want to read the book all over again as soon as you’ve finished it.” —⁠The Star (Malaysia)

“Deeply insightful and told with a sharp and perceptive grasp of human weaknesses, yet never maudlin, Matthew Quick is a master storyteller. Written with warmth, quick wit and above all, compassion, The Good Luck of Right Now is impossible to put down. I will be first in the queue for his next novel.” —⁠CultureFly


— **Starred review**Kirkus Reviews

— February 2014 LibraryReads List Pick

Entertainment Weekly’s Hot 2014 Titles

Publishers Weekly’s Spring 2014 Top 10: Literary Fiction

— Costco Pennie’s Picks

— March ’14 Indie Next List

New York Post’s Required Reading

The Winnipeg Free Press 2014 ‘top read’

— Translated into German, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil + Portugal), Hebrew, Dutch, Spanish, Serbian, Russian, Italian, Korean, Polish, Turkish, Complex Chinese, Greek, Latvian, Catalan, French, Bulgarian, and published in the UK by Picador, in Canada by HarperCollins